Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My Liberal Bleeding Heart

When I was a teenager and well into my 20s, I used to donate blood, and periodically, platelets, at the Milwaukee Blood Center. Unfortunately, in my mid-20s, I was diagnosed with a genetic condition that required that I take medication for the rest of my life. (No, not mental illness, or any life threatening condition.) Due to the medication, I was no longer eligible to donate blood, and I put that down as just part of my past.

When I was able to donate blood, I had also signed up for the bone marrow transplant program, in case they ever needed a volunteer. I had forgotten about that as well, until this afternoon.

I received a call from the Blood Center. They told me that there was a patient that needed a bone marrow donor and that I was listed as a potential match. They wanted to know if I was still interested.

Without hesitation, I said I was, and we went through the basic information. Height, weight (she wouldn't accept "too much" as an answer by the way), general health, etc. However, I told the technician that I was still on that medication, and that they had told me that I couldn't donate blood anymore. I wasn't using it as an excuse, but I didn't want to waste their time and resources if I was a dead end. She took down the information on what medication I was on and said that she would call me back later today or tomorrow, after she checked it out with the physician.

She called back within the hour and told me that not only was I cleared to proceed with the bone marrow, but I couldn't also start donating blood again. Ah, the wonders of modern medicine. I go in tomorrow after work to have some blood samples taken to be tested against the patient's. I don't know what the odds are, but they told me that they would let me know one way or the other.

I realize all of this is rather mundane, but I am excited. If nothing else, I now can resume donating blood again. It's not much, but is is needed, and it is kind of cool just knowing that maybe, just maybe, I might be able to help someone out who really needs it.


  1. This is really great of you! I'm so proud to know someone like you.

    Give them an extra ounce for me since I cannot give blood myself.